tv 9 News Now at 430am CBS December 27, 2011 4:30am-5:00am EST
point, is not facing murder charges. investigators aren't saying why at this point. one u.s. senator says taxpayers have been unknowingly paying for extrav gant political type gifts handed out over the past year. matt jablow explains. >> reporter: the international house of pancakes on 14th street northwest is open 24 hours a day. it has also been open to criticism ever since it was learned that the restaurant was built with about $800,000 in government money. >> a waste of taxpayer dollars. >> reporter: money from a federal program designed to revitalize run-down neighborhoods. a description that clearly no longer applies to this columbia heights neighborhood which is why some people have taken to calling the program pancakes for yuppies. and why the federal money spent on the federal restaurant was included in senator tom coburn's waste book 2011 which according to senator coburn includes examples of some of the most egregious misuses of
federal dollars totalling more than $6 billion. >> this is a list of shame. >> also on the list, $15 million for one of the bridges to nowhere in alaska. ♪ this is the song, la, la, la ♪ >> a remake of a muppet song. >> we're still trying to dig out from many federal programs that need fixing. >> the executive director of the national taxpayer's union says 2011 was another bad year. for people hoping for smarter spending habits here in washington. >> unfortunately, the federal government has subsidized directly or indirectly not only flapjacks but grass fed cow butter, beef jerky and mushroom pizzas. after a menu like that, it is taxpayers reaching for the antacid. >> well said. that was matt jablow reporting. >> more and more frustrated
voters are dumping their political parties. more than 2.5 million switched party affiliation. this could have a major impact on the 2012 election. the democratic party seems to have been losing the most voters. since 2008, more than a million and a half people have left the party. >> you know, there are a lot of people that are suffering, out of work, et cetera, they don't care about democrats or republicans. they want some answers. >> while the democrats took the biggest hit, the party still dominates the political playing field with more than 42 million registered voters compared to 30 million republicans and the big difference, 24 million independents. g.o.p. presidential hopefuls are hoping to attract some of those party detectors. a week ago, a new poll shows it is now a three-way race but as duarte reports, that's not stopping other presidential candidates from making a final push there. >> i'm almost considering
myself a resident here. >> rick santorum was the only presidential candidate campaigning in iowa spending part of the day pheasant hunting but the real spot for the top hunt will intensify today. >> i'm going to do something the government -- i'm going to make it simpler and smarter. >> mitt romney released an advertisement as he tried to sway undecided voters. with only weeks to go, the latest polls show a three-way race between romney, gingrich and paul. rick perry is trying to improve his position. he'll launch a bus tour today and release a fresh ad in iowa. >> if washington is the problem, why trust a congressman to fix it? >> paul, at the top of many polls in iowa won't be campaigning there today. his next event is scheduled for tomorrow. >> gingrich and michele bachmann will make numerous stops today as they hit the final stretch of campaigning. historically a victory in iowa does not lead to lasting success in the nomination but
it often forces some candidates who finish in the back of the pack to drop out. >> that was duarte geraldino reporting. santorum has spent most of the time with many of the candidates in iowa but polls show he's running considerably behind. a man accused of a heinous crime in new york is in jail in laurel, maryland, waiting to be extradited to the city where the crimes took place. 24-year-old jerry a. lewis walked into the city police department on christmas eve and confessed to killing a 21-year- old woman and her 2-year-old son. he told police it took place in an apartment in long island. the details of the scene are gruesome according to investigators. >> the female was stabbed a number of times. the baby was viciously beaten. the baby was ultimately put in
a plastic bag and then put in a freezer. >> the suffolk county police say lewis went to his sister's house in new jersey after the murders then went back to long island to ditch the woman's car and eventually caught a bus here to the d.c. area. prince george's county police want to know if you know who these men are. three weeks ago, they're out at the burger king on bladensburg road. one man was the lookout. other two jumped over the counter and raided the register. this trio also recently robbed a wendy's in hyattsville and a family dollar store in mt. rainier. if you recognize them, please call prince george's county police. he's been in a cuban prison for two years. now, family and friends of alan gross are calling out his jailers in havana to let him go. gross is a u.s. government contractor who's been held in cuba for two years now. he was accused of trying to undermine the government there. cuba recently announced plans
to release nearly 3,000 prisoners as an international gesture of good will but gross is not among them. >> because we believe that injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere. so, we stand in faith, in hope, in love and in peace that the government will have a heart and let alan gross go. >> the u.s. state department says it is disappointed cuba is not releasing gross, an act that would improve relations between the two nations. well, everything is on the table in prince george's county when it comes to finding a solution for an upcoming budget shortfall. county executive ra shurn baker says the county has a projected budget gap of more than $100 million and it could get wider when new data is released next month. the county has a limited ability to raise taxes because of a voter-approved tax cap. just about all of us have done it. mistakenly typed the wrong letter into your favorite shopping web site. that mistake could cost you
i'm olga breese in for howard bernstein. we definitely have rain on the way. you can see it approaching from the southwest on doppler radar. hasn't yet reached into northern virginia but within the next two hours, we should have some wet pavement around. we'll keep our mostly cloudy skies throughout the day today. temperatures mainly in the 40s but we'll push toward 50 degrees later on this afternoon. rain should last well into the afternoon. heavy at times so be prepared if you're heading out and about. monika? >> clean up of a tractor trailer accident in overnight on the inner loop of the beltway south of the bw parkway, the tractor trailer has been removed but the fuel spill cleanup remains here along the left side. more on this and other area roadways coming up at 4:48. >> thanks, monika. >> it is time for the first "your money" report. jessica is out reporting live. she'll join us in about a half hour. here is a look at headlines. a typo during an online shopping trip could turn into a disaster for you. one internet security firm says beware of typo squatters. the company says there are about 2,000 sites that look
identical to legitimate ones but they're designed to capture your personal information instead and launch malicious computer attacks and initiate online scams. some of those popular retailers including best buy, walmart and apple have been targets. companies like go daddy.com and amazon try to buy up all of the errant site names to reduce the problem. traders return to work on wall street after a three-day holiday weekend. stocks rallied last week after several reports that things seem to be looking up in the new year. alexis christoforous has more. >> reporter: traders return to work on wall street after the long holiday weekend. the dow will try to extend its best winning streak since july. stocks rallied last week after a new wave of reports pointed to a strengthening economy. as we head into the new year. on friday, the dow rose 124 points while the nasdaq added 19. this week, expect reports on home prices pending home sales, consumer confidence and weekly
jobless claims which have been trending lower. claims have been below 400,000 for nearly a month which signals job growth. some economists say 2012 could be the year the housing market stabilizes. sales of both new and preexisting homes rose last month and new construction jumped to an 18-month high in november. even more encouraging, permit for future home building rose to the best level in a year. more good news for the housing market, experts predict low mortgage rates will continue in 2012. last week, rates for both 30 and 15-year loans hit new lows for the third time this year. that's your money watch. for more, head to cbsmoneywatch.com. in new york, i'm alexis christoforous. >> toyota unveils the aqua in japan, the automaker's smallest and according to toyota, the most environmentally friendly car they make. and it is said to get about 50 miles per hour. when the car comes to america next month, it will be called
the prius speed. starting price, $26,000. it is priced to compete with the hyundai insight which also goes for about $20,000. >> a mall, day off from school lead to a melee that gets security guards busy and the whole thing is caught on tape. plus, what your sweets say about your happiness or lack thereof.
at some point, winter is going to arrive but we're going to get some rain first. temperatures in the 40s now. >> we'll stay above freezing overnight tonight. we're really getting kind of a treat toward the end of the year. easing out of december without any snow to forecast. we do have some steady rain though on the way to come down
today. cloudy skies throughout. moisture is moving on through. with the cloud cover, our temperatures really haven't had the opportunity to drop down overnight. most of the region sitting in the low 40s right now. we'll hold on to that. we'll hold off on the moisture until about 11:00 and then anywhere from 11:00 until noon, we'll start to see the rain moving on through. temperatures, we'll try to get closer to the 50 degree mark with the moderate rain falling into the afternoon. many areas will make the upper 40s to near 50. we could see a 52 or 53 down across the southern zones. i'm expecting the moisture to taper off and then things should be back to normal. as we head into the overnight tonight. so, prepare for the rain today. take the umbrella with you. rain jacket, wear some sensible shoes, especially if you're going to be out and about today. you might want to grab your lunch and take it with you to work. that rain will be a little bit
steady, particularly in the middle of the day and the late afternoon. then behind this low pressure system, we're talking about cooler temperatures beginning to move on through. we won't be too warm in the afternoon on wednesday and thursday but we are looking for a fairly decent forecast for your holiday weekend. so, on our doppler radar right now, moisture still out toward west virginia. it is going to move on in through southern virginia first. this is tapping into some gulf moisture. it is actually coming in from the south and from the west and it is going to continue to move on through. our temperatures this morning, although we're in the 40s around much of the metropolitan region, 30s up to the north. it is feeling a lot colder. feels like 37 at reagan national airport right now. we have a fairly light wind out of the south at 9 miles per hour. the rain potential is not going to be a lot into the afternoon. we're not talking about several inches. however, pockets of this rain could be a little bit heavy at times. so, we're focusing from about 3/4 of an inch to under an inch by the time this is all over in
the late afternoon. highs again into the upper 40s near 50 degrees. might see a few of the upper -- lower 50s across some of our southern zones and the seven- day forecast behind that front will bring in some sunshine tomorrow but it is also going to be on the breezy side with northwest winds on wednesday and thursday holding temperatures in the 40s. >> good morning, olga. good morning, everybody. if you're planning to head out on the roads this morning, you may have heard of a tractor trailer accident happened before 2:00 this morning on the inner loop of the beltway. southbound 495 just south of the bw parkway. let's take a live look. i just saw equipment roll away from the scene on the inner loop of the beltway. no problems to report there. here's what it looks like at university boulevard. both loops of the beltway through the silver spring area. basically, all around, things are looking good. let's go back over to the map. we'll go to the south side of town on 95 in virginia heading northbound, you won't encounter any problems from the occoquan river.
we'll take a live look into springfield. on the northbound side of 95 heading from the beltway, you're fine. further north close to seminary road, also very quiet right now. to the 14th street bridge and into the downtown area. coming up in my next report, another look into maryland at 4:56. mike? >> a sad ending to the search for a missing 9-year-old indiana girl. investigators say alana lemons body was found yesterday and now a family friend is facing murder charges in the case. the 39-year-old man was watching the little girl when she was reported missing friday night. the man is not on indiana's registered sex offenders list, however, he does have a criminal record for trespassing and assault. a mission to save a life ended up killing three people instead. a surgeon, a technician and a pilot were all killed when the helicopter they were in crashed 40 miles from gainesville, florida. the three were retrieving a heart for a transplant parent when their chopper went down
yesterday morning. another helicopter crew spotted the wreckage. the national weather service in jacksonville, florida, said there was some light fog with overcast conditions but no rain. in a bit of good news an off-duty firefighter is being hailed a hero this morning. the two story home in staten island went up in flames sunday and an off-duty firefighter, steven karl, was just happy to be there. he saw the flames as he was going home. he then saw a woman on the front lawn screaming her children were inside. that's when karl sprung into action, grabbed the ladder and he said things seemed to get worse for a bit. >> as i was ascending the ladder, i reached over and the ladder gave out and fell. i was hanging on the balcony and they were able to put the ladder up. we were just able to make it touch the bottom of the balcony. i helped the two people down the balcony to safety. >> karl says he's no hero. he was just in the right place at the right time.
a big fight broke out at the food court at the mall of america in minnesota yesterday afternoon. witnesses say scores of young people swarmed through the mall and some of them reportedly grabbed items from shoppers and kiosks. it took guards over an hour to control the whole thing. surprisingly, no one was hurt. well, it used to be the eyes were the windows to your soul. now, apparently twitter is giving people a look at what you're feeling inside. a new study found tweets gave when you're feeling down and out or when you're at your best. >> reporter: there is an old song that goes don't worry, be happy. well, according to a team of mathematicians from the university of vermont, many of us are feeling a little down. the research analyzed nearly five billion worldwide twitter messages for 33 months, there has been a gradual downward slope during the past year and a half. listen to, this the twitter research shows people usually feel good on holidays like christmas but here's the downside of that information.
it also indicates people usually feel blue on mondays. no wonder i feel like i could use a hug right now. >> what do i think about the research? i think days after christmas when you're with your family, of course i'm going to be happy. when i'm on vacation visiting everybody, it is an exciting time. i'm happiest on fridays because the week is almost over. >> the twitter research picked up on certain keywords like laughter being the happy extreme and the word terrorist of course ranked down. some monday shoppers aren't buying the research. >> it is all -- it is a myth. especially after the holidays. you're with your family. the weather is fantastic. there's nothing to hold you down. >> every day, i try to get up and tell myself to be happy. i try myself to be happy at the end of the day. when i set my goals in the morning, i try to achieve them. if i do not meet the goals, i would be unhappy.
>> in fact, savanna said she's originally from sicily, italy. >> because we have the sun and we're happy. our parents told us to be happy. and to be happy with what we have. >> miss deluca brought her happiness with her when she moved to america some 26 years ago. according to a recent study, what is the most annoying everyday phrase? is it a, my bad. b, sorry about that. or c, no big deal. what do you think? put your answer on our facebook page. we'll read some of your comments and reveal the answer to the survey in our 6:00 hour. we'll be right back.
olga breese in for howard bernstein this morning. be prepared for a damp and dreary day. moisture is on the way. that means our day planner will feature overcast skies and some fairly moderate to heavy rain at times until the 5:00 hour. temperatures today hold in the lower 50s. monika? >> we're going to take a live look at the beltway west side of town, american legion bridge, good indication of what it looks like basically between 270 across the potomac river and down into tysons and 66. coming up, more good news on area roadways at 5:00. back to you, mike. >> thanks, monika. last night, the wizards season got underway and things are looking pretty good at first.
take a look. andre gets the ball. underneath, right here. and then slams it home. in the second, nick young puts the wizards up 26-13. they would go up by as much as 21 in the first half. but then here come the nets. they always make a run in the nba. williams with the fake to chris humphries. the dunk. nets tied the game at 55. under 2:00 left, william with the three. puts the nets up. john wall with a chance to tie it. wizards lose 90-84, end the season opener. i think it is three in a row. some of the music's biggest stars are also making a big difference. and one of the hollywood's top leading men is finally making it official with his long time girlfriend and mother of his children. bigad shaban has those stories and more in this morning's entertainment.
♪ >> reporter: lady gaga continues her reign as the celebrity who uses her influence to do the most good. the singer came in first in do something.org's top 20 celebs gone good list. the organization which is dedicated to social action among teenagers gave gaga the honor because of her efforts against bullying. and her supportive issues relating to gay rights, a.i.d.s. and poverty. >> fellow pop star justin bieber jumped from number ten last year to number two this year. the teen singer earned his spot for his work with an organization that builds schools in third world countries as well as his continued support of the make-a- wish foundation. rounding out the top five, george clooney, will smith and his wife, jada and leonardo dicaprio. >> for do something.org, giving money isn't enough. to earn a spot, celebrities need to take action like build houses, write articles or found an organization. math hue mcconaughey is engaged to long time love
camilla. the 42-year-old actor popped the question to the brazilian model on christmas. the couple has two young children together. >> everybody off the bus. >> coming out on dvd tomorrow, final destination five. the scary movie once again focuses on a group of friends who try to outrun death. and that's your eye on entertainment. bigad shaban, cbs news, hollywood. >> pretty cool. good morning. welcome to 9news now. 5:00 a.m. bright and early. i'm mike hydeck. andrea roane is off today. monika samtani has great traffic news coming up for you. >> i do. >> if you want to snow, not good news. rain, olga has it for you. >> what they're getting in the south is much more intense, more severe than what we're going to experience. we're going to see heavy downpours from time to time. don't be caught off-guard. it is looking pretty good as you step out the door this morning. the forecast today is going to stay overcast, very, very cloudy as we head in